Breakout E:



Waiting Until Marriage?

Our Stories and Experiences


TIME: FRIDAY, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Session Description: Come hear LGBTQ+ people share stories and experiences on the topic of waiting until marriage. Our views vary. Some of us are quite committed to it. Others are not convinced. Some of us are in relationships. Others are single. Regardless of where you are or your current relationship status, we hope that this will be a challenging discussion about sex and marriage, free from the shame-laden purity culture you may have experienced at youth group. We will have lots of time to reflect and discuss together.

Biography: Shane has been an active member of the GCN/QCF Waiting Until Marriage group since 2008 and its leader since 2013. This group is now a very active Facebook group with more than 400 members. Over the years this group has deeply impacted his life (he actually met his husband through it!). It is his privilege to now offer support and encouragement to many LGBTQ+ people as they navigate questions of sexuality, faith and sexual ethics. He is also a leader in Generous Space, a Canadian organization similar to QCF.

Let's Talk About SEX(ual Ethics)

SESSION LEADER: kevin garcia

TIME: FRIDAY, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Session Description: Let's get this out of the way: many of us are having sex and no one is talking about it, and any talk of sex and desire remains mostly taboo. While the traditional belief that sex should be reserved for covenantal marriage between two people can be life-giving for many, that isn't the only way to have a healthy sexual expression that is also honoring to God. In this breakout session, we'll tackle some questions surrounding sex, shame, marriage, relationships, and how this all shakes out theologically with the Bible, Christian tradition, and the contexts we live in today. Come ready for open discussion, bold ideas, and a whole lot of (conversations about) sex.

Biography: Kevin Garcia (they/them/theirs) is a speaker, content creator, and worship artist based in Atlanta, GA. They graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2013 with a BM in Music Education and has been everything from a barista to a corporate office worker to a non-profit professional since then. After coming out in the fall of 2015 as a queer Christian, Kevin has reached thousands of individuals across the globe with their blog, their podcast, “A Tiny Revolution,” on their YouTube channel. Kevin's work seeks to give voice queer Christian experience, covering theology, mental health, spirituality, sexuality, gender, and justice in an effort to help people live an abundant life. They is presently a candidate for a Masters of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA. They believes that by telling our stories, we set others free to tell theirs.

You can learn more about Kevin and their work at

Books:Bible, Gender, Sexuality”, by Jim Brownson, “Walking the Bridgeless Canyon”, by Kathy V. Baldock, “Good Christian Sex” by Bromleigh McCleneghan.


HIV Care and The Church

SESSION LEADER: Donald Scherschligt

TIME: FRIDAY, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Session Description: How can my church help stop HIV? What's PrEP? Do people even die of AIDS anymore? Though we often think of HIV as a thing of the past, the disease is still affecting countless lives today. In this guided discussion, we will discuss the impact of HIV today, the latest advancements in treatment, and how HIV intersects with racism, poverty and homophobia. Attendees will leave this workshop with the tools and resources needed to engage the church in stopping the spread of the disease and better assisting those living with HIV.

Biography: Donald Scherschligt is an HIV+ writer, designer and activist based in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the creator of Queerly Beloved, a clothing line for LGBTQ+ Christians, and SKEW, a zine that features stories told from the intersections of social justice, spirituality and pop culture.


Standing Firm: Developing Sustainable Resilience Practices

SESSION LEADER: Matthias Roberts

TIME: FRIDAY, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Session Description: The work we do as LGBTQ+ Christians and allies is emotionally exhausting and costly, leading to activism fatigue and burnout. Come to this workshop to pause, reflect, reset, and learn concrete practices you can turn to when things get tough. (Please come prepared with pencil/pen and a notebook for this workshop.)

Biography: Matthias Roberts is a writer, therapist, and host of Queerology: A Podcast on Belief and Being. His work has been featured in HuffPost Religion, Believe Out Loud, OnFaith, and The Oregonian. He holds an MA in Theology and Culture and an MA in Counseling Psychology. Matthias lives in Seattle and spends his time helping LGBTQ+ people of faith and allies live confidently.

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Healing From Spiritual Violence: Antidotes to Sacramental Shame and Paths to Undivided Love

SESSION LEADERS: Dawne Moon & Theresa Tobin

TIME: FRIDAY, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Session Description: This interactive breakout session explores the spiritual violence of sacramental shame many LGBTQ+ Christians report experiencing in their churches, routes to healing and reconciliation from this shame, and the different forms it takes in different racialized communities. As a philosopher and sociologist who have been researching sacramental shame experiences in Christian churches, Dawne and Theresa draw from the experiences of dozens of LGBTQ+ Christians who have shared their stories, as well as those in the church who have become allies. How have LGBTQ+ Christians of various backgrounds healed from spiritually violent shame? How do cis/heterosexual people become allies, and how have LGBTQ+ Christians led the way toward social justice action that models Christian love across barriers of exclusion and rejection? This breakout session examines pride and humility as two sides of the same coin, as an antidote to the toxic effects of spiritually violent shame, and as catalyst for love undivided.

Biographies: Since 2014, Dawne Moon (PhD, sociology) and Theresa Tobin (PhD, philosophy) have been conducting a study of the work LGBTQI+ conservative Christians and their allies have been doing to change the conversation about faith, gender, and sexuality in their churches. This interactive breakout session will share what they have learned and explore these themes further.

LGBT+ Flourishing within Side B Theology

Session Leaders: thomas starchia, scott herr, josh proctor, grant hartley, melinda melone

Time: SATURDAY, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Session Description: This session will be a general discussion of living out celibacy by a panel of Side B LGBTQ+ Christians from a variety of Christian traditions. From life as a single celibate to intentional community and celibate partnerships, we will discuss different ways people live out celibacy. Our goal is for attendees to see that Side B is not simply a series of noes to sexual relationships, love, and intimacy, but a vibrant option to live out our sexuality and gender as LGBTQ+ individuals.

We will discuss the positive witness that the Side B community can provide to the LGBTQ+ Christian Community and the LGBTQ+ Community as a whole. As both Side A and Side B LGBTQ+ Christians, we all have a part to play in the work God is doing in and through our community. The session will consist of a combination of audience questions and panel discussion and presentation on different aspects of living out the Side B theology and celibacy.

Biographies: Thomas Starcia has been involved in multiple areas of ministry for over ten years, including worship & music ministry and LGBT+ Christian ministry. While serving, he has been able to build LGBT+ communities and has acquired an extensive amount of knowledge and experience working with young-adult believers on how to reconcile their faith to their sexual identity. Some of his current projects include working with his local church on creating a safe space for LGBT+ people and co-hosting the facebook livecast, Square Up Show, where real people engage in real talk about real stuff that no one wants to talk about. Thomas was born in Virginia Beach, VA but currently resides in Lynchburg, VA.

Scott Herr currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina and has been involved with the Side B Community on GCN/QCF since 2001. He has been serving Side B LGBTQ+ Christians in an active way since 2014. He holds degrees in music and has worked professionally as a singer and actor. He currently works online teaching English to English Language Learners around the world as well as serving as choir director at his parish. He blogs at Queer and Connected.

Josh Proctor is a gay Christian who has been called to celibacy and works for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Colombia, leading an initiative to make Colombian churches safe places for LGBT+ people. He also holds a Masters in Biblical Literature from Nyack College in New York and focuses on sexuality and gender studies within the Hebrew Bible. His greatest passions are mentoring young LGBT+ people in their faith, working with churches to enhance LGBT+ inclusion, and proving the existence of unicorns.

Grant Hartley graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Religious Studies and a desire to see the gospel message understood, delighted in, and proclaimed to the world in the lives of faithful Christian sexual minorities. He is passionate about building bridges between Christian and LGBTQ* communities outside the Church through creative, constructive dialogue and culture making and re-making.

Melinda Melone is a member of Church of the Sojourners, an intentional community in San Francisco. She is also a mom, a Montessori elementary teacher, and a children’s ministry leader. She will be joined by members of Sojourners and other communities.

Books: “Oriented to Faith” (Wipf and Stock), “Being Church” (Cascade/New Monastic Press) “How to Become a Saint: A Beginner's Guide” (Brazos Press), Single, Gay, Christian by Greg Coles (InterVarsity Press)

Restoring Your Faith: A Community Approach

Session Leaders: amanda mole and brian coogan

Time: SATURDAY, 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Session Description: Most of us find church life pretty tough. Sometimes, that can lead to trauma that can outweigh the positives of belonging to a faith community. Spiritual abuse can leave us wondering, where do I belong? What do I do? In this session, you will learn how to identify signs of trauma in yourself and your community, and explore strategies to heal yourself and help others do the same. Participants will be included in discussion and activities, and will receive an interactive booklet exploring key approaches to overcoming the trauma of spiritual abuse and reclaiming our faith.

Biography: Amanda Mole earned her Master in Social Work degree from the University of South Florida. She currently works at the Dawn Centre of Hernando County as a trauma counselor and advocate. In addition she has been living with depression and PTSD since adolescence and is a fierce advocate for mental health awareness. Amanda has given presentations on management of PTSD and a variety of topics in both her local community and national conferences.

Amanda has a dragon lizard called Elphaba and Brian has an incredibly cute Maltese-Shitzu called Minka. Amanda and Brian are both Reformation Project grads, and have presented at QCF before and are excited to return!